Sony's New Vaio Duo 11 Should Give Surface Plenty of CompetitionS

Sony's got a new transformer tablet/laptop hybrid, the Vaio Duo 11, which is a sliding converter with a stylus. It looks pretty darn good.

The Duo 11 has an 11.6-inch "full HD" touchscreen (16:9, 1080p), and will have current-gen Intel Core Ivy Bridge processors. The screen in particular, just judging by specs, should be pretty great. The 1080p panel on Vaio Z computers is really good, for reference. The new iPad runs at 2048x1536 resolution, but this should blow the doors off of most current ultrabook displays, which are generally 1366x768 or 1440x900. The Duo will be configurable to 4 or 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB or 256GB SSD.

It is 17.85mm thick with its keyboard. That's about twice the 9.4mm of an iPad and the Surface, which is 9.3mm, and about the same thickness of an ultrabook like the MacBook Air 11 (at its thickest point), which is 14mm thick. It weighs 1.7kg.

The Duo's keyboard isn't a detachable accessory, like Microsoft's Surface tablet. Instead, it's revealed by a sliding mechanism from behind the screen. The small dimensions of the keyboard should give a moment's pause, since Vaio laptops have had some pretty questionable keyboards, especially the super-slim Vaio Z, but hopefully Sony's figured things out with the Duo. We'll know more once we play with it. Design-wise, it looks really good, but we'll have to see it up close before we can speak to build quality. Sony will also apparently focus on handwriting, with dedicated software to recognize the stylus, which will have swappable pen tips to change up how it feels on the surface.

Sony's New Vaio Duo 11 Should Give Surface Plenty of CompetitionS

There is also the Vaio Tap 20 that converts from a 20-inch desktop computer to a lay-flat slate. Here are the relevant specs for that: It's got a 20-inch 1600x900 screen with 10-point capacitive multitouch. It can be configured with an i3, i5, or i7 Ivy Bridge processor, from 750GB to 1TB 5400rpm HDD, and 4GB or 8GB of RAM.

We don't have any word on pricing, but will let you know when we do.